Students in Richmond County performed better on school standardized tests in the past year along with taking advantage of more opportunities to better their education. 

The superintendent sent two very clear messages following her 2018 Annual Report Review.  The graduation rate is up and students have a clear pathway to careers. 

Jeniyia Bido is one of those students. 
“I’m actually graduating out of Augusta Tech with my Associate’s degree in Computer Support Specialist.  That’s going to be my first thing,” she said. “And my second one is my high school diploma.”

You heard it correctly.  A college degree before a high school diploma.  

Bido explained more.  “So, I actually started with a year and a half left on dual enrollment.  I took six classes each semester.  This semester I took four and after that I’m done.  I have my degree.”

The Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School senior is one of more than 600 students participating in dual enrollment, an advantage Bido said more students should take advantage of.  It’s working for her and Superintendent Angela Pringle told a group of stakeholders at this year’s Annual Report Review that its working for so many others. 

“Our Early College is housed at Laney.  Early College does afford students the opportunity to finish high school courses in 9th and 10th grade and then Augusta University has partnered with us so that most of those students will enter Augusta University as juniors and leave.”

Pringle said 18 schools saw the higest ever CCRPI scores last year.  Graduation is the second highest in 15 years.  Getting students into a job is also working well too with trusted programs such as RPM and the new Cyber Academy of Excellence and Marion E. Barnes Career Center.

“Next year Textron will take some of our students and they will be paid, while they’re in high school, to weld on certain parts for their go karts and their lawn mowers,” said Marion E. Barnes Career Center Principal Jamie McCord.  “We want to do the same thing with Mingledorff HVAC.  We want to do the sam the same with RW Allen for our construction students, Universal Plumbing for our plumbers.”

Pringle added that community support helps to enrich students’ lives along with some of the district’s innovative learning with STEM Labs and robotics. 

“The state assessment for every child will be on a computer this time.  So, children have to type long passages.  They have to learn to navigate the technology in order to do well on the assessment,” she said.

Superintendent Pringle challenged the community in order to make sure the district remains successful:

  • A challenge to parents and daycares to make sure that students are ABC ready before they enter school.  
  • A challenge to the community to make sure that the district is able to recruit and retain quality teachers. 
  • And, a challenge to make sure we can close that digital divide and finally, a challenge to all in the community to make sure they they help students and kids in the juvenile justice system. 

Pringle shared several more accomplishments that she says is the district’s way of making steps towards success.  Students were sent to work last summer.  She said 120 students completed paid internships through the Students2Work Program, helping to secure jobs and skills that could lead to future jobs.  Six high schools exceeded the state graduation rate, five exceeded the national average and nine had a graduation rate above 80 percent. 

Photojournalists: Mark Gaskins and Brandon Dawson